“Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot!”
Once upon a time three blind men sat by the side of the road. They were good friends and they helped each other out a lot because they were all blind.
A Jain version of the story says that six blind men were asked to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body. The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.
A king explains to them:
All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all the features you mentioned.
The ancient Jain texts often explain the concepts of anekāntavāda and syādvāda with the parable of the blind men and an elephant (Andhgajanyāyah), which addresses the manifold nature of truth. This parable resolves the conflict, and is used to illustrate the principle of living in harmony with people who have different belief systems, and that truth can be stated in different ways (in Jain beliefs often said to be seven versions). This is known as the Syadvada, Anekantvada, or the theory of Manifold Predications.
Two of the many references to this parable are found in Tattvarthaslokavatika of Vidyanandi (9th century) and Syādvādamanjari of Ācārya Mallisena (13th century). Mallisena uses the parable to argue that immature people deny various aspects of truth; deluded by the aspects they do understand, they deny the aspects they don’t understand. “Due to extreme delusion produced on account of a partial viewpoint, the immature deny one aspect and try to establish another. This is the maxim of the blind (men) and the elephant.” Mallisena also cites the parable when noting the importance of considering all viewpoints in obtaining a full picture of reality.
“It is impossible to properly understand an entity consisting of infinite properties without the method of modal description consisting of all viewpoints, since it will otherwise lead to a situation of seizing mere sprouts (i.e., a superficial, inadequate cognition), on the maxim of the blind (men) and the elephant.” From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant>
The Buddha twice uses the simile of blind men led astray. In the Canki Sutta he describes a row of blind men holding on to each other as an example of those who follow an old text that has passed down from generation to generation. In the Udana (68–69) he uses the elephant parable to describe sectarian quarrels. A king has the blind men of the capital brought to the palace, where an elephant is brought in and they are asked to describe it.
When the blind men had each felt a part of the elephant, the king went to each of them and said to each: ‘Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’
The men assert the elephant is either like a pot (the blind man who felt the elephant’s head), a winnowing basket (ear), a plowshare (tusk), a plow (trunk), a granary (body), a pillar (foot), a mortar (back), a pestle (tail) or a brush (tip of the tail).
The men cannot agree with one another and come to blows over the question of what it is like and their dispute delights the king. The Buddha ends the story by comparing the blind men to preachers and scholars who are blind and ignorant and hold to their own views: “Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing…. In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus.” The Buddha then speaks the following verse: From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant>
A modern parable: An elephant joke inverts the story in the following way:
Six blind elephants were discussing what men were like. After arguing they decided to find one and determine what it was like by direct experience. The first blind elephant felt the man and declared, ‘Men are flat.’ After the other blind elephants felt the man, they agreed.
“We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” – Werner HeisenbergFrom <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant>
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. ” Sherlock Holmes, the Scandal in Bohemia.
When we conspiracy theorists and paranormal enthusiasts, and UFO researchers/experiencers begin to realize that we are the three blind men; that we don’t have the full picture, that we need to combine our knowledge and see where it leads to the BIGGER PICTURE, we might make some headway. There are those of us out there who do that and even we are confused.
“While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty.” Sherlock Holmes
This is bigger than an IF/THEN situation, or who is right and who is wrong situation, or who’s got the real proof situation. Everybody wants a bi-nary answer to the question of “Just what the hell is going on?” We are NOT going to get one. Sorry folks, but, the threads of all of these realizations create a tapestry of many colors and textures. We are certainly not going to be able to make heads or tails of this by belief, faith, or from one guru who is going to tell us the whole story, or by any sort of divisional tactics or really, any current way of thinking about this. Everyone out there has a piece of this puzzle. They are ALL telling the truth as they know it. They are ALL correct. You can’t narrow it down to only one aspect of the elephant and decide you understand it whole picture.
“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.” Sherlock Holmes, the Scandal in Bohemia.
Consider, we are all blind. Blind to ourselves, blind to the world, blind to reality… we are trying to do the same thing that is pointed out in the parables above. We are all having different results. What is it that Einstein said? “You can’t solve a problem at the same level of thinking that it was created?” You have to figure out how to think differently about it… It’s like trying to get inside the head of an insane person and make sense of their insanity. There is a ‘thing’ we are missing, not knowing, and without it, this will remain a huge, unsolvable mess. And I don’t know what it is. Because, to our way of thinking it makes no sense.
“You know a conjurer gets no credit when once he has explained his trick.” Sherlock Holmes from the study in scarlet.
Then, let me throw a wrench into this whole diatribe: consider the whole thing is a psy-op. A distraction. Why, you might ask? Maybe to keep the imaginative thinkers all busy while something else is going on; the classic ‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!’. So, where haven’t we looked? Do we even know? Can we even Imagine?
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity.
It makes me want to put the entire puzzle down and walk away and do some living, and either wait for a while and come back, or walk away forever… But you know how that works right? Inspiration will strike the minute you truly let it go. Like a bolt of lightning BAM! There it is. Consider this – the evidence, where it leads our thoughts to go, what we think of it is why we can’t get around the problem. That we are supposed to take the whole thing and draw WRONG conclusions because of the way we think, because of the very way society is structured. See? Convoluted. On Purpose. A game to keep us occupied while much more important issues are going on behind our backs… Sounds a bit paranoid, right? Lols Either we are insane, or they are… I suppose we will find out someday, maybe, if we make it that long.
One can always hope. Until then I remain watchful, waiting, wondering what thread is going to be yanked next.
Oh, by the way – have you noticed that we are being primed and made ready for something?
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth .” Sherlock Holmes